Colossians: Rooted in Christ - Week 6 – Fullness in Christ
Study: John Heine
Reading: Colossians 2:6-15
Sermon date: 14 October
What is a daily or weekly ritual, other than exercise, that you do for yourself?
Paul was concerned about the heresy* infiltrating the church in Colossae (*anything that is not according to what the Word of God teaches). While we are not told specifically what the problem was, we can make deductions about it from the passage. We can, for example, with regards to circumcision, note an emphasis in the church on a particular practice as being an addition to, or replacement of, faith in Christ. Paul reminds our brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae that our fullness is in Christ alone, and in Him it is just that – full. Paul reminds them, and us, of our being rooted in sin, for which there is room for no other remedy than Christ and the Cross. Yet, just as we can do or add nothing to that work of forgiveness, we must think carefully what we do or add to our walk of faith.
“Circumcision” may not a hot-button topic in our churches today. But, we can think of other practices and thoughts that have become just as common, that we have perhaps become too accepting of, or perhaps have given a disproportionate emphasis to. It can be something that may be awkward to talk about with each other, as it may be popular and/or common. Like the Colossians, people may hold dearly to this thing, that teaching, this practice, that idea. This is why Paul spends so much of his letter addressing it, and why he is so firm (loving, and firm) in doing so. Paul takes this on, head on, as idolatry. We may not think we are bowing before a graven image, but we may very well be doing so by lending an undue or untrue emphasis to something or someone in addition to, or instead of…Christ.
We often think of false teaching as involving other religions or non-believers. Paul is not warning about false teaching “invading” into the church from “the outside.” Paul is warning of false teaching within it. False teaching is not always obviously false. Whilst not always “obvious”, it often seems “acceptable.” What makes deception truly deceptive is when we think “What could be wrong with that?”, or when it becomes very popular within our Christian sub-culture, or when we seek Biblical ways to justify it. It is often something easier to see others than in ourselves.
Please read Colossians 2:6-15
Q1 - What popular ideas, thoughts, resources, or practices do we have, not just in “the church”, but among ourselves, might we need to review?
Q2 - vs. 8 says "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ".
a. Which could be the "deceptive philosophies" we might follow?
b. Which could be the "human traditions" that could takes us captive?
c. How could we be following "elemental spiritual forces" rather than Christ?
Q3 - We are blessed to live in a Christian “subculture” which is wonderfully resourced with technology, teachers, talks, methods, and materials, many of which can be quite rightfully helpful in our walk Christ. How might these unhelpfully add to or replace our time in the study of His word, and in prayer?
Q4 - What would it mean to be rooted and built up in Christ?
Q5 - What would it mean to be strengthened in the faith as you were taught?
Q6 - What would it mean to be overflowing with thankfulness?
Q7 - How have you been rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught?
Q8 - What will you do during the next few weeks that would build you up in Him and strengthen your faith?